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Talking harm reduction at Ottawa's Winterlude

This past weekend, CSCS volunteers took to Winterlude to talk with people about supervised consumption sites & collect signatures on our petition to the provincial health minister. We had great conversations about harm reduction and received lots of positive feedback from Ottawans and tourists alike. There's no doubt that supervised consumption sites are a health service that people are ready to support in our community.

Thank you so much to our amazing volunteers! With your help, we're now at well over 1000 signatures on our paper petition, which we'll be submitting to the provincial legislature later in the year.

The Insite decision and the case for supervised consumption facilities in Ottawa

Professor Suzanne Bouclin of the Ottawa University Faculty of Law and Priyanka Vittal, a law student & CSCS volunteer, have co-authored a paper on the 2011 Supreme Court decision in favour of Insite remaining open, and what the decision means for the possibility of similar sites opening in Ottawa. The article is available in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law, and offers a valuable analysis of the legal aspects of this issue.

On September 29, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled to allow a safer supervised consumption facility (SCF) to remain open under a section 56 exemption of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The decision has lent additional legitimacy to SCFs as a necessary health care service that is part of a comprehensive and holistic drug and addiction strategy. In part one of this comment, we describe the context in which Insite emerged in Vancouver, British Columbia. In part two, we discuss the legal mobilization that led to the Supreme Court decision and the framework under which Insite currently operates. In part three, we explore the decision’s implications for another jurisdiction – Ottawa, Ontario.

Read the full article here (PDF)

Insite - Not just injecting, but connecting

This video about Insite, created by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, is an amazing look at the program, the people, and the vital place it holds in the community. Supervised consumption sites are about so much more than using drugs - they're also about compassionate health care, forming respectful connections with people, and providing help when it's needed.

Breaking the Taboo - Thanks for joining us!

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our movie night tonight! A big thanks to Gilles from DUAL for sharing his experience, to Chris for answering questions about the campaign, and to OPIRG for co-hosting the event.

You can sign on to the Break the Taboo campaign's call to world leaders to end the war on drugs and move towards a system based on decriminalisation, regulation, public health and education at breakingthetaboo.com.

Check out the Drug Users Advocacy League online at dualottawa.ca, and don't forget to like them on Facebook!

Breaking the Taboo

Join us on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7pm at the Arts Court Theatre, as we present Breaking the Taboo as part of OPIRG's Resistance on Reels Film Festival!

Breaking the Taboo - January 17

A documentary on the failed war on drugs across the globe, Breaking the Taboo sheds light on realities of the drug war industry from the first hand experiences ranging from former offenders to former presidents. This documentary is a call to action for our leaders to improve drug policies to include decriminalization, regulation, public health and education. What will it take to end the war on drugs?

The evidence is in

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to our event this evening, to Dr. Bayoumi and Dr. Strike for presenting the TOSCA evidence in support of supervised consumption sites in Ottawa, and to Tarah and Rick for sharing their insights and stories.

We started the evening with this excellent video - take a look to see how Insite serves the health care needs of people who use drugs in Vancouver, and benefits the entire community.

Sharing the evidence: TOSCA and drug consumption sites in Ottawa

Does Ottawa need supervised drug consumption facilities?

This question was the focus of the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment, a four-year scientific study conducted by researchers from St. Michael's Hospital, who concluded that such sites would improve the health among drug users in Ottawa and could also reduce public drug use and save money for the health system.

As part of Ottawa's AIDS Awareness Week, researchers from the TOSCA study will present their findings to the community on November 29 at 6pm at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Hosted by the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa, the event will also feature speakers from Ottawa's Youth Services Bureau and the Drug Users Advocacy League (DUAL). A panel discussion will follow.

RSVP on Facebook

Sharing the evidence: TOSCA and supervised drug consumption sites in Ottawa

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté makes a powerful case for harm reduction practices and the important role of supervised consumption sites as a health service for people who use drugs.

Dr. Maté is a physician at the Portland Hotel on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Check out his amazing book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts - it will challenge everything you thought you knew about addiction.

Ottawa OD Day 2012 demands

At today's Overdose Awareness Day event at the Human Rights Memorial in Ottawa, Sean and Gilles of DUAL presented the following list of demands on behalf of people who use drugs in Ottawa. We at CSCS Ottawa fully support these demands, and call on municipal, provincial, and federal governments to take action now to help prevent further unnecessary overdose deaths.

Overdose Awareness Day 2012

This Friday is Overdose Awareness Day. We invite you to join us in Ottawa at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin St from 11:30am-12:30pm to show your support.

On August 31 thousands of people worldwide will stand beside the friends and families of fatal overdose victims to reflect on their losses. The event intends to reinforce the idea that no-one need feel shame or disgrace at the death of someone from drug overdose.

Overdose Awareness Day 2012

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